Do you know the coffee taste and flavor could change in the future ? A new study by an international team of researchers that looked at the peculiar effects climate change has on Africa’s largest coffee producing nation, Ethiopia, found that climate change will impact the coffee flavor quality. Ethiopia is the birthplace of Coffea arabica, the coffee plant. 15 million Ethiopians rely on the coffee industry for their livelihood. There are over 1,000 known genetic varieties of coffee in this country. There are ceremonial ways to prepare, serve, and drink coffee here. But Ethiopia may produce less specialty coffee and more rather bland tasting varieties in the future. “Climate change has conflicting impacts on coffee production in Ethiopia. The area that is suitable for average quality coffee might actually increase gradually until the 2090s, according to our computer simulations,” says lead author Abel Chemura from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
„This is an issue not just for coffee lovers, but for local agricultural value creation,” he added. The renowned Yirgacheffe type, one of the world’s oldest and most sought after coffee types cultivated in Ethiopia’s southwest, under the worst case scenario, could lose more than 40% of its suitable area by the end of the 21st century. There are strict determinations. For example, if it gets warmer, the coffee cherry matures faster than the development of the bean, which in turn leads to coffee that is lower in quality. Increased rainfall, on the other hand, favors coffee production in general but may be not necessarily beneficial for individual specialty coffee types. Such things will impact the economy. For Ethiopia this could prove fatal but there may be ways to stop this trend using the scientific predictions and generating localized adaptation planning and responses.